Friday, April 19, 2013

Funky Friday

Our curriculum vision is to empower, enrich and engage students with their learning.

We believe that both teachers and students should be able to follow their passion or discover passion through a rich and creative contexts that are self selected.

On Fridays each week, we have our Funky Friday programme.

This gives teachers an opportunity to share with students things they are passionate about and students an opportunity to explore or discover their passions.

The electives change each term and include many options that students and teachers select.. For example, movie making, comic strips, freeform soccer, animation, rock band, engineering, enviro-schools. dance,  trash to fashion and much more.

Each week our student news team is putting together a "Photopeach" slide show to feature on our school website:

The slide show this week showcased the golf and gymnastics options on Funky Friday.

I hope you enjoy their presentation.

">Funky Friday -Gym and Golf on PhotoPeach

I think it is getting really challenging to have enrichment programmes in schools like this - particularly in an era when standards based / national testing politics is so dominant in the education right wing political arena.  Educators  have to be prepared to stand up for what they believe in to maintain such programmes around the arts, technology, science,  and other creative pursuits in schools.

I wonder what other educators thinking is around this? Do you feel that curriculums are in danger of becoming narrower - only focusing on tests through reading, writing and mathematics? Are there enough opportunities for students to develop and for teachers to share things they feel passionate about? How is this done in your school or education district? Do you think it matters and if so why / why not? What is your thinking around this?


  1. Hi Sandy,

    I enjoyed watching the Funky Friday movie. It's interesting that this issue has been stated on your blog. A friend of mine last term, pulled her children out of one school because the school was cutting back on it's arts and physical education programme and was tailoring more towards the core subjects of Reading, Writing and Maths. It saddens me to hear this sort of thing is happening in schools as not every child is an academic and a lot of children really excel in the sports and the arts. We need artists, performers, athletes, sporting stars in New Zealand. When I was young I loved visual art and excelled in it. My teachers thought I spent too much time on the colouring and not enough time on the content. Yet it hasn't done me any harm. I feel art has become a huge strength in my teaching career and it can be embedded into so many other areas such as in my E-Learning role. Children need these sorts of Fun Funky Friday experiences that your school is promoting. An experience like golf may light the candle for a student to go on and become a world class golfer. A school like experience can lead onto so many things, different avenues and can lead children into becoming success stories later on. Children need variety in education. Also if it becomes too focused on the Reading, Writing and Maths then we will lose a large percentage of students dropping out of our education system.

    Joy Paton

  2. Hi Joy,
    Thank you for your comment. Funky Friday is about following passion, We only introduced it this year. Funky Friday is about getting teachers to share their passion with students so that they can have a taste of lots of different things and perhaps develop their own passions.

    I would like to take our inquiry model in the school a step further. I would like tostudent personalised learning around their passion with empathy and social action. I have seen this concept modeled in a few other schools. Its about personalising student learning- where students follow their own passion but also link it somehow to make the world a better place.

    What is your thinking on this idea?